Weight loss surgery could help reduce the risk of cancer to rates almost similar to those of people with normal weight, say researchers.
With bariatric surgery, a part of a patient's stomach is reduced to a small pouch. This pouch is attached directly to the small intestine, bypassing most of the rest of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine to ensure long-term weight loss and to reduce the chances of early deaths due to severe obesity.
Daniela Casagrande of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and her colleagues contrasted and combined results from 13 relevant studies that focus on the incidence of cancer in patients following bariatric surgery.
Their systematic review shows that bariatric surgery is associated with a reduction in the incidence of cancer among morbidly obese patients.
They found that cancer only occurred in 1.06 cases per 1,000 person-years, up to 23 years after the surgery was performed. This is markedly better than the rate for the global population of obese people. Importantly, the effect of bariatric surgery was found within both controlled and uncontrolled studies. Four controlled studies showed that bariatric surgery was associated with a reduction in the risk of cancer.
The study has been published in Springer's journal Obesity Surgery.